Wine Making Instructions
Below you will find a basic method to making wine. If you have a recipe or specific instructions, be sure to follow them.
You will need some equipment as described below. Click on the links to view images and more details. We also carry prepacked equipment kits.
Fermenting Bucket Also known as Primary Fermentor. This Bucket is where the first initial fermentation process will occur. The bucket is large enough to allow the juice to work during the violent fermentation stage. If you bucket has a lid, it will have a hole in it with a black rubber grommet. The 3 piece airlock (see below) will be inserted into the grommet. If there is no lid, simply place cheesecloth or a towel over the top. Be sure your bucket can breathe – we do not want an airtight seal!
Carboy also known as Secondary Fermentor. This vessel is used during the secondary fermentation stage.
3 Piece Airlock or Bubbler An airlock allows the gasses to exit the fermenting vessels while protecting the juice from the air. The airlock needs to be filled half way with sanitized water.
Hyrdrometer A glass cylinder that measures Specific Gravity or S.G., these readings gauge the amount of sugar that is in your juice.
Bung or stopper This small rubber device fits into the opening of the carboy. The airlock fits into the center hole of the stopper.
Cleanser/Sanitizer All wine making equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized (including your bottles) Your packet of sanitizer is a one-step cleanser and sanitizer combined. Follow the directions on the package for best results. You can also use a crushed campden tablet in 4 oz of water as a sanitizer.
With the right equipment, you will be ready to start making great wine.
Step #1 Preparation
Clean and sanitize all equipment that will come in contact with the fruit/juice by using the cleanser/sanitizing agent.
Place your juice/fruit into the Primary Fermenting container. If using whole fruit, put fruit into straining bag; add water and other ingredients directly into the bucket along with the bag. Follow your recipe for necessary ingredients.
If your kit came with a lid, place it on top of the fermenting pail. Fill the 3 pc plastic airlock with water and insert in the grommeted hole in your primary fermenting lid. This container should sit at room temperature (65-75 degrees). If your kit did not come with a lid, simply place a damp towel or cheesecloth over the top of the bucket. Be sure the bucket is not sealed tightly it must be able to breathe!
During the first week to ten days, the sugar in your juice is working with the yeast to convert it to wine. This stage is known as violent fermentation. The juice will become frothy and it needs extra room to allow for the froth. Therefore, be sure to not to have the Primary Fermenting container filled to the top, otherwise it may foam over.
Step #2 Secondary Fermentation
Within approximately 10 days, you will notice much less activity and it should stop foaming. You can now transfer (also known as racking) by using the siphon hose into the carboy. Allow the wine to sit for two months to continue the fermentation process. Keep the wine at normal room temperature (65-70 degrees).
Step #3 Stabilizing
After your wine has finished secondary fermentation, rack it back into the Primary Fermenting pail. Leave behind the sediment and add one crushed up Campden tablet to the wine. Stir vigorously for approximately 2 to 3 minutes while in the bucket. By stirring the wine, it will remove any carbon dioxide (fizzy bubbles). When done stirring, rack your wine back into the gallon jug (be sure it has been cleaned out and sanitized). If there is a large amount of airspace in the jug, you can fill this up with a similar style of wine. If you have a large amount of airspace and do not top up with a similar wine, you will risk oxidizing your wine which will result in off flavors or may even spoil.
Allow wine to sit until clear. If your wine does not clear on its own, you can add a fining agent (available from your wine supply store). Once the wine is clear, it is time to bottle. You can re-use/recycle wine bottles as long as you clean and sanitize them.